Efficacy of tablet-based applications for mental training in preserving cognitive abilities of older adults

  • Marcello Maria Turconi Fablab Srl, Trieste - Italy
  • Filomena Vella Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di Trieste 1, Trieste - Italy
  • Francesco Mosetti Azienda Pubblica di Servizi alla Persona ITIS, Trieste - Italy
Keywords: aging, cognitive decline, cognitive training, mental training, older adults


Background and aims: Nonpathological, age-related cognitive decline is among the most feared consequences of aging. Evidence suggests that the continued use of mental abilities can slow down cognitive decline. We developed two tablet-based applications for the mental training (ElasticaMente) and social interaction/entertainment (iNonni) of older adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate their effect on cognitive performance.
Materials and methods: This was an exploratory study of 8 months duration. Sixty healthy residents of a senior community center aged ≥60 years were recruited and divided into three groups: participants in Groups 1 and 2 received a tablet with ElasticaMente and iNonni (Group 1, n = 20) or with iNonni only (Group 2, n = 20); participants in Group 3 (n = 20) did not receive any tablet. Participants in Groups 1 and 2 were instructed to use the applications three times a week (each session ~45 minutes). Cognitive performance was assessed at baseline (T0) and after 8 months (T1) using a battery of six validated tests.
Results: In Group 1, cognitive test scores remained consistently stable from T0 to T1, suggesting maintenance of cognitive abilities. In contrast, in Groups 2 and 3, scores worsened from T0 to T1 across all tests. Comparison of the changes from T0 to T1 revealed statistical significance for Group 1 versus Group 3, but not for Group 1 versus Group 2 and Group 2 versus Group 3.
Conclusion: The 8 months use of the applications ElasticaMente and iNonni was associated with a significant benefit in terms of preserved cognitive performance compared with no tablet-based activity. The potential contribution of ElasticaMente to the attenuation of cognitive decline should be further investigated. (Digital Health)

How to Cite
Turconi MM, Vella F, Mosetti F. Efficacy of tablet-based applications for mental training in preserving cognitive abilities of older adults. Abtpn [Internet]. 29May2019 [cited 12Nov.2019];6(1):24-0. Available from: https://journals.aboutscience.eu/index.php/aboutopen/article/view/282
Original research article